Prepare yourselves, this is going to be a bit of a long post! Just want to share the experience for you guys and some of the little things I learned while on this conference. I learned a lot and I can’t wait to come home and start training everyone!
We arrived Wednesday afternoon and just relaxed, the 3:00am wake up call and travel day exhausted us. We discovered our hotel was about 25 minute walk away from the conference, so a little bit further than we thought! We checked in and got our schedules and got a good nights sleep.
Thursday morning was the official first day of the conference, and we had to be there for a 7am workout. I started my day with an Extreme Body Weight Bootcamp with Mike Robinson who won personal trainer of the year last year. He and his team had a ton of energy and had us doing a million push ups so that I couldn’t barely move my arms for the rest of the conference.. Thanks a lot Mike!
Next up was a TRX Move Better Workshop. The room was so cool all set up with 75 TRX’s and there were 150 of us in the class so we shared with another person. One of my favourite parts of the conference was meeting so many wonderful like-minded people in the same business who loved learning just as much as I do! The TRX class wasn’t about learning a whole bunch of crazy new moves, but rather really going through the foundational movements (squat, plank, row) and breaking it down to minute detail to where we were really perfecting our form. I though I had a perfect plank until I took that class- after learning how to activate my lats properly I am STILL feeling them 4 days later from some simple planking. I can’t wait to get these small tips and tricks to my clients to really ensure every muscle is firing properly and getting the most benefit from the simple movements. The whole approach to that workshop was “making the simple movements hard, so the hard movements become simple.”
Next up we had the Opening Ceremonies which were amazing. We walked into this HUGE room (had to hold the 14,000 people at the conference). They announced the Fitness Instructor of the Year (Sgt. Kenneth Weichert) and the Program Director of the Year, and the Personal Trainer of the year (Carol Michaels).
They also announced the Inspiration Award which was one of the many highlights of the conference. Amy Van Dyken was the winner and she is an unreal speaker! Her story was very emotional, if you haven’t heard of her I will give you a quick re-cap. She’s a 6 x gold medallist in the Olympic Games for swimming, and also a ironman triathlete and did figure competitions. Basically a very motivated and driven individual! One night riding an ATV and a resulting accident left her with her spine severed and life as a paraplegic. Apparently she came out of the surgery never having a negative thought- her positive winning attitude had her recovering much more quickly than her fellow paraplegic’s and she said she never looked back. Her motto was “Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?” and she’s gone on to complete amazing things. She says doing whatever she possibly can the best she possibly can is a blessing that she lives by everyday. Hearing her talk about if we ever feel like we don’t want to get out of bed for a workout; then picture her – barely able to put pants on by herself and she would kill to be able to get up and out of that chair. I honestly thought of her the entire conference every time my legs were sore or I was tired, or just didn’t feel like it… I am so fucking grateful that my body works and I can do the things I do. I will never take it for granted. These blessings can be taken away in one second.
Jack Lalannes Wife then came on stage to present the Jack Lalanne Award to Tony Horton. They talked about Jack’s life and his wife Elaine was such a firecracker! It was her 90th birthday and I would have put her in her 70’s. She was hilarious and moved around with ease, even competing in a push up competition in her heels and suit with Tony Horton. Made me realize the amazing gift we have with our bodies and how much better we can live when we are older if we take care of them.
Jack Canfield then gave a talk on the success principles. I was quite excited to see Jack speak as I have his book and found it very inspiring, but he was a bit of a boring speaker. He did give us a few good nuggets about taking 100% responsibility to every single that happens to us in life, giving up blaming, and “What you go through, you grow through”. Also, if you want something to change then you have to change. He gave us some great demo’s of how using the words “I can” can literally increase strength. He brought someone up on stage and got her to hold her arms out laterally while he pressed down on them. When she had “I can” statements she could hold him, and when she had “I can’t” statements her muscles stopped working. You could tell even she was shocked by the power of her mind! He talked a lot about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to progress which is SO TRUE. Who likes putting themselves in uncomfortable situations? It brought me back to when I first starting teaching fitness and absolutely felt sick to my stomach before every class, I hated it. But I grew so much from that and by putting myself out there I found my dream job. Jack said something great in that “You have survived everything that’s ever happened to you thus far.. or you wouldn’t be sitting here”. It reminded me that no matter what we go through we have the ability to handle it in a positive way and to grow from every single obstacle that is thrown our way.
After the opening ceremonies were finished we had about a 2 hour break to check out the Health and Fitness Expo. It was INCREDIBLY overwhelming I couldn’t stay in there for very long! There was over 400 vendors previewing workout equipment, clothing, nutrition products.. anything you can possibly think of. I spent most of my time in the Lorna Jane area (I totally needed more workout clothes.. right…?) and the nutrition part. There was a lot of interesting things for sale but I managed to stay (somewhat) within my budget! (So.. who wants to buy some personal training sessions? haha).
Next up was a 101 Ways to Bosu Class. It was incredible! She literally took us through 101 different Bosu moves (and we did them all) and I left with that list and a DVD in case I forget anything. I’m going to have to buy more Bosu’s! As an instructor I feel I tend to stick with the few ones that I know are effective, but I learned so many more! (Watch out Bootcampers..)
Next.. another TRX Class! I was originally signed up for Jack Canfield’s talk but after seeing him speak in the opening Ceremonies I registered for another TRX class instead. We did a super challenging workout and the energy in the room was INCREDIBLE. The instructors really took it up a notch and inspired me to put more energy into my classes!
Day 1 was done after that, we were originally supposed to go to a dance and dinner welcome party that evening but after we were at the conference for 12 hours we decided to just get to bed early for the next day!
Friday was probably my favourite day. I unfortunately didn’t get to do any workouts but I spent most of my time in the “Success Academy” and it really spoke to me. I’ve been so into personal development lately and hearing successful people’s rise to where they are today completely made me want to hustle! I started the morning in a Pre & Post Natal Training class where I learned a lot. I feel much more confident training women coming right out of childbirth (and by that I mean after they are cleared to exercise after 16 weeks MINIMUM). We learned some amazing pelvic floor and core exercises (PS.. Peeing when you jump rope is NOT normal and there is a solution!!) and learned about all the specific injuries, short and tight muscles that happen with pregnancy and childbirth and how to rectify them. Can’t wait to bring all that information back to my Mommy & Me Classes!
Next up I headed to the Success Academy. The first speaker was Todd Durkin and I honestly didn’t know who he was beforehand but HE WAS AMAZING. He’s a personal trainer that created the show “Strong” on NBC (I am totally going to binge watch it as soon as I have time). His talk was just.. I don’t even know how to describe it! It was all about finding your purpose and living your legacy, and creating a life that people want to talk about. We talked about defining our dreams, figuring out what gets you moving and motivated, setting up rules for your life, making a 5 year Decree, asking people their story and connecting with them, getting into the best shape of your life mentally, physically & emotionally, getting through obstacles, getting your mind right, finding that person that believes in you, and shocking the world. He was so passionate, I will never forget it. At the end he talked about how he got into his “zone” and put on his grey hoodie, BLASTED Eminem’s Lose Yourself and had the entire room up on their feet chanting and just being excited about the very moment that was happening right there. I cried! (I cried a lot in this conference haha). I have a video of this that I will post for you guys. It made me want to run home, whip out my journal and define every single thing that I wanted to achieve right then and there. In case you were interested, these were Todd Durkin’s “Life Rules” that he sticks to no matter what:
1.) Go to bed at 11 pm every night to get 7 hours of sleep
2.) Stick to healthy diet and avoid caffeine after 12 to ensure 7 hours of sleep is great sleep.
3.) No more than 2 beers every month. (that is not a typo…)
4.) Work out 45 minutes every morning
5.) Spend at least 10 minutes listening to a podcast, inspirational book, meditating, etc.
6.) THEN and only then does he turn his phone on.. Morning routine is scared and his time.
7.) Set intention for the day: What is the one thing/person that I am going to channel my energy into today?
8.) Do not swear. Only increase positive energy in every room you enter.
7.) Win the day. You are the only one in control of who/what/how you spend your time.
8.) Every Week Reflect of your WLAG (Wins, Losses, Aha Moments, Goals). He then speaks with his team and sets the 5 big things that are significant and need to have time spent on that week).
9.) Write everyday for at least 30 minutes (penning your thoughts is so essential).
10.) Have positive interactions with all people
11.) I will live my life guided by my purpose and passion (Not be steered by jealousy, gossip, temptations, or energy vampires).
12.) I will motivate and create impact to 10 million before I leave this earth (Major goal).
13.) To understand that I cannot and will not please everyone- live everyday with zero guilt.
It was so interesting hearing this amazingly successful man’s story and how he lives each day. I am setting some rules of my own for sure and changing my morning routine up a little bit after listening to that! (Although I was proud that I do always write for 20 minutes in the morning, practice gratitude, and spend time meditating).
Then we heard from three leading ladies in the industry in a panel type question and answer session. We saw Natalie Jill (Major social media star), Chris Freytag and Cathe Freidrich (stars in the most exercise DVD’s in the world I believe). They had some great tips on social media, marketing, and I realized how much more I can really do and how much more of a impact I can make if I spend some more time selling myself (which I hate to do.. but that’s part of being uncomfortable I suppose). I can’t wait to finish my book and sell it as an e-book format! Also I realized I really need to step up my website, be on more platforms (twitter, pinterest, youtube) so I have some work ahead of me!
Next up we listened to Randy Hetrick speak who was the creator of TRX! (My all time favourite piece of equipment). His story was also amazing and he told us his top 5 leadership lessons that he’s learned along the way. Seeing how he progressed from this ridiculous little strap invention to a 50 million dollar world wide company in less than 12 years was incredible.
Then Autumn Calabrese came up to speak. She is the creator of the 21 Day Fix from BeachBody and hearing her story was definitely inspiring. She went from working 18 hours day and being in debt as a single mom to creating this product and giving up EVERYTHING to see it through. She had to be a part of a pilot group for over 33 weeks and ended up having to give up all of her personal training clients and income for the product that she believed in.. and it paid off! She talked a lot about having a burning desire for whatever you want; which was what a lot of the success academy people talked about. Basically all the cliche stuff like “Never give up” but it’s cliche for a reason and that was definitely a theme between everyone.
This blog post is getting incredibly long and I have to head to my flight, so I am going to divvy it up into two posts.. Next up is a speech from Lisa Druxman, and my favourite… Lewis Howes! Then a crazy workout day with Jillian Michaels, Cassey Ho, Shockwave Inferno, and Natalie Jill. Lastly today was a workshop on Games for Bootcamps and Mindfulness Tips for Fitness Professionals. Hope you enjoyed this one, stay tuned!!